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The Woodpecker Chronicles

Here in the Boston area, if you live outside of Route 495 you're considered to be, like in medieval times, "beyond the pale." I like that just fine actually. My little Massachusetts town has six horse farms, lots of open space and rolling hills, less congestion, more fresh air, and I can actually see the stars at night. The town center is quintessentially New England with the mandatory three white steepled churches and a picturesque town common ... so much so that (I'm told) it was used to depict, guess what, a quintessential New England town in a Hollywood film years ago.

I typically work at home a few days a week. But occasionally working at home has its drawbacks. Like woodpeckers. Pesky, persistent, "can’t get a clue" woodpeckers. Like the one that seems to show up for work everyday with the intent of systematically deconstructing the cornerboard of my house and my concentration along with it.

Woody's got great timing. He invariably shows up right outside my second-floor home office when I'm writing. (Now granted, that's pretty often, but usually it seems to happen when I'm working on something that seems to require a lot of concentration.) In the past when Woody shows up and starts hammering away outside of the wall about three feet from my head, I've had to run downstairs, out the back door and around the side of the house to chase it away. As you might expect, doing this three or four times in the course of an afternoon can get a little tedious. Now when he (or she) goes to work, I grab a bamboo stick from one of my martial arts classes a few years ago and start tapping back on the wall. Seems to works like a charm. (Well, most of the time anyway.)

Posted by Tom Valovic on 12/29/2008 at 12:49 PM


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